Archive for the ‘Money in the News’ Category

postheadericon 2010 Year in Review Money and Marriage Headlines

The end of 2010 is just around the corner as is a bride and groom’s wedding day; therefore, let’s take a look at what made the headlines for money and marriage.

#10: At the beginning of 2010, leading article was Marriage: A Good Investment for Guys (Time Magazine). Article cited a study in 1970 that showed an unmarried man was better off financially than a married guy at that time and NOW 22% of the women make more money than their husbands. Question: Will this news bring on a mad rush of men chomping at the bit to pop the question? Observation: I wouldn’t necessarily say that marriage makes a man more successful than if he remained single. When it comes to a man or woman’s success it depends on their character, work ethic, dreams and goals as individuals.

#9: In February 2010, we were given a glimpse of what was happening in marriage via Money Matters in Marriage (Washington Post) which discussed “The State of Our Unions”. Article states according to “The State of Our Unions” annual survey by the Univ of Virginia’s National Marriage Project and the Center for Marriage and Families at the New York based Institute for American Values, W. Bradford Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project wrote the Great Recession that began in 2007 exposed an economic factor. Wilcox stated “the economic downturn reminds us that marriage is more than emotional relationship it is also an economic partnership and social safety net. Lesson: Money has always been a part of marriage. There are husbands and wives that have weathered the financial storms for years. Couples should enter marriage with a clear picture of what marriage and money can be instead of expecting the fairy tale.

#8: February continued to be a busy month when discussing marriage and money, which shouldn’t be a surprise considering there’s Valentines Day and National Marriage Week. Next in line was a news story titled Money and Marriage: Avoid Problems through Full Disclosure (ABC News GMA). Bottom line – ways to alleviate most money problems is to communicate, get help from a financial counselor if necessary, designate one person to manage the money and devise a strategy to pay bills on time. Lesson: Communicating about money is an ongoing conversation not a one time chat or text message.

#7: Our journey continued in February and we were met with Five Ways to save your Marriage ( Of course my immediate thought was COMMUNICATION. Communication was second and first was working together as a team. Lesson: Husbands and wives must realize and accept they are on the same team and not opponents.

#6: Reflecting on the top 10 news stories about money and marriage, month after month we kept hearing about the impact of the economy on people, engaged couples and businesses. One reoccurring theme I noticed was brides wedding dress deposits and bridal stores going out of business. Brides made deposits on the wedding dress of their dreams only to discover weeks and even days to prior to their wedding the bridal shops had closed down without notice. Resulted in no dress and no return of deposit.

#5: It’s never too late to talk about Finance and Romance, especially in the heat of the summer. One story that was sure to get the “home fires burning” was titled Finance and Romance: A Perfect Marriage (Forbes Woman). Short and sweet of this: Managing your finances can lead to increased romance in marriage. Lesson: Very easy to be romantic when there is no financial pressure!

#4: For those who didn’t learn the lesson about Finance and Romance could be living more of the theme from our next candidate, Your Money, What Love Joins Together, Debt can put Asunder (NY Times). Nothing like a bride’s fiancé finding about her student loan debt (amount very close to the wedding day) and calling off the engagement. Lesson: Communicate honestly about the debt and financial obligations being brought into the marriage early on in the relationship so everyone knows the truth.

#3: Debt is a four letter word when ignored can affect marriages severely resulting in divorce. Up next making the headlines was titled The Biggest Money Mistakes Couples Make (US News and World Reports). Top mistakes were not talking, combining accounts too early, sharing credit cards, real estate and other type of debt, ignoring the risk of a break-up and ignoring the marriage penalty. Lesson: Most important is to start talking (not arguing) about money issues and establishing a mutually agreed upon financial foundation that the marriage can operate. This should lead to specific and well-defined roles for husbands and wives and mutual financial goals for the marriage.

#2: I must say I had no idea this next one would even end up in the list; however upon reading the news I felt it deserved to be included. Prince William’s engagement spurs tips on mixed money marriages (USA Today). Different financial backgrounds and experiences and the one with lesser financials can get swept up in their future spouse’s lifestyle thereby creating and increasing stress. Lesson: Even though you may not be Prince William nor his fiancé, do not lose yourself or identity once you are married and give up on your dreams.

#1: This list started out taking a look at the affect of marriage on men and who would have known at the end of November, gracing the headlines would be a Study focusing on women, money and divorce (Today Show). States that 1/3 of women are better educated, in 22% of the couples, she is the primary bread winner and 38% are at risk of divorce. Lesson: For the wives that are the primary bread winner – goal should be working together for the greater good of the marriage. Treat your husband the way you want to be treated regardless of income.

Based on the stories I’ve read over 2010, I’d say we are in for more precedent setting money and marriage stories like never before. Stay tuned…..

Copyright ©2010 – Dr. Taffy Wagner, CEPF – Permission granted to use and reproduce with proper citation.

postheadericon Must See Price is Right

Price is right for Engaged Couples. You must take a look – The Wedding Shower Episode:

postheadericon Week of Blogs on Savings as a part of America Saves Week 2010

Welcome to Money Talk Matters Blog. This week’s THEME is dedicated to blogging on Savings as a Part of America Saves Week, February 21 – 28, 2010.

America Saves Week is individuals will be encouraged and assisted to assess their savings progress and take action to advance this progress.  This encouragement and assistance will be provided by organizations and professionals with an interest in improving the financial security of individuals and families.

As a Personal Finances Expert, Money and Marriage advocate, it is also very important that couples have a savings plan whether you are engaged, newly married or have been married for several years. It is my HONOR to be a partner of Black America Saves and support America Saves Week.  What does that mean for you the reader?

You will receive tips, recommendations, maybe even downloads that focus on different methods of saving. I know that savings can be a fun part of life whether you are a kid, high school student, college student, young adult or even adult. It is all in what you make it. So this week let’s have a lot of fun as we talk about savings, working our savings plan and changing lives.

Savings is not something that should be overlooked regardless of financial situation. However, it should be recognized as a financial means of be prepared for emergencies, way of building wealth, learning how to save money at the lowest amount and watching it build over time and much more.

I remember having a discussion with a Local Pastor several weeks ago and one message we agreed that when it came to investing we were not told about investment at a young age. What a difference it would make if the youth were taught how to invest $5 and watch it become $50. Then invest $50 and it became $500 and so forth and so on.

We are going to have loads of fun this week with creative ways of saving money wherever you are. If you have a recommendation, send it in.

postheadericon Money and Marriage is a Lifestyle like No Other

Ladies and Gentleman, last week was one of the best weeks that I have had in a long time. It was a week filled with faciliating Money and Marriage Teleseminars during National Marriage Week. I must say WOW! What a week it was. Thank you to Rev. Angela Chester who kicked off our week with Faith and Finances. Talk about setting the tone and knowing that you have to STAND on YOUR FAITH in Good time  and Bad, whew – she set the tone. She shared about women encouraging their husband’s and that the “MALE EGO is VERY FRAGILE” how you must be careful, especially in faith and marriage.

When Tuesday came, I was ready to hear what Mary Chatman, CEO of Love Life Designs, LLC was going to say. She shared with the audience how it is important to keep romance alive even after several years have passed by. How your tone is also a factor in marriage.  Mary shared how couples have to talk about romance and their desires, furthermore that it is more than sexuality. Then she got into how romance appears to take a back seat when the finances are not right. We briefly talked about wives talking with their girlfriends about their relationship and how that shouldn’t happen because girlfriends cannot change their marriage.

From there Wednesday came and the Black Marriage and Money panel was ready for it. Dr. Harold Arnold, Talayah Stovall and Christine Pembleton came on the scene and set the record straight when it comes to Black Marriage and Money. They started out saying yes the statistic is there; however, who was the group that was looked at, furthermore if you start buying into all of the statistics or propoganda we make it a fulfilled prophecy by living it. Oooh, this conversation was “ON”. This panel ROCKED  – discussing youth, media, marriage and money and we felt as if we only scratched the surface. Before we knew it, we were out of time. Stay tuned there will be another time when we get together.

Thursday came in with much EXCITEMENT and I knew it was going to be another night of affecting CHANGE and INSPIRATION for those on the call. Teisha Shelby Houston was no joke. This SISTER, MOTHER, WIFE, Entrepreneur discussed the essentials of communciating with the spouse about being an entrepreneur, as well as RESPECTING EACH OTHER… whew. I tell you what she said, it’s okay if you have to get a job while building your business and continue moving forward. Teisha shared a lot just like each EXPERT and one of the things that was CRUCIAL when it comes to being an Entrepreneur is RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH. I am telling you they all know their stuff.

As the week of teleseminars was coming to an end with Suzanne Mayo, Director of Black America Saves I was still filled with soooo much excitement. Suzanne was on the teleseminar and from the JUMP talked about the importance of Saving. Thinking BIG and Starting Small. As long as you start, it will get BIGGER. Suzanne shared from personal experience and even expanded this discussion into Health and Wealth and how if your health is having some issues, more than likely your money is too. Whoooo. I second that. I have seen people that have financial issues which causes stress and then they began to have symptoms of health issues, they go to the doctor and they cannot figure out what is wrong. We could have went on for hours.

As I said this was a great week and it has only just begun. Definitely stay tuned to this blog for more teleseminars, courses and chats.  Money and marriage is a lifestyle like no other. Its time you work it to your benefit and not your detriment.

postheadericon Husbands get financial benefit from Wife

Today, I was doing my research and reading on Marriage and Money of course. I came across this story on titled Marriage and Money: Husbands get the financial benefit – which I would strongly recommend you read.

This article discusses how women today are bringing home more income than their husbands. Some find it difficult to cope with. I must share with you, my husband and I have always been of the mindset that it does not matter who brings home more or less as long as the household bills are taken care of. We have experienced in our marriage seasons where his income has been greater for several years and then other years mine has been greater. Regardless, we have always taken care of our household and did not let that become an issue for us.

Caution: Do not get caught up in what “SOCIETY” has to say about the husband bringing home more money than the woman or even vice versa. What husbands and wives should focus on at the end of the day is what works for their marriage, are their mutual financial goals being accomplished and are the household finances being taken care of. That is all that matters.

Do not even allow friends or family members to speak negatively about either spouse’s earning potential. It is all about you and your husband (and kids if applicable) but that’s it.

postheadericon College Students Marrying Before Graduating

I was doing some reading last night on money and marriage and discovered this article sharing how students are not waiting to get married. The motivation for some of these students was that individually they could not afford to pay for their college education. Therefore, once they were married they qualified for a different financial aid package.

WHOAAA! That was a big one for me to read because in my mind they did not think about the responsibilities that come with being married. Not only will they have student loans, but what about the other person’s existing debt. Did they even think about that. I don’t see that as a solution, if you cannot afford to pay for college – marry the person that you are dating so they can pay for your tuition as well.

Listen, when two people get married more than likely one person is bringing some financial baggage into the marriage. Whether or not that has been discussed is another whole post. But the point I am making here is that you should not be so short-sighted or quick to think of this as the only remedy and evaluate what your priorities are. I imagine that there are more stressors as young, married college students, especially if you have different majors. I can see it already, one spouse will get mad if the other one is not there when they have time.

Students – look at the big picture and not what you consider to be the short-term solution to something very valuable. I want you to read this article for yourself – “Studies in marriage“. Hmm, question – What happens if there comes a time when neither one of you can afford to pay for college?

postheadericon First-Time Homebuyer’s Tax Credit Extended While Weighing Home Buying Costs

From what I read President Barack Obama signed a bill Nov. 6 that extends the $8,000 first-time homebuyer credit until June 30, and makes some current homeowners eligible for $6,500 on a new home purchase. That is good news.

It is a great thing to be a homeowner and it is important to know how to purchase a home and not go into thinking you need to compete with the Jones. There are probably many families right now that were under the impression they needed to compete with the Jones that are having a difficult time based on the economy.

What is one of the first steps you can take in preparing to become a homeowner. If you have six months to a year, sit down and budget what you are paying for your current place of residence and what you are willing to spend to become a homeowner. I remember when my husband and I were preparing to become homeowners, we took our time driving through and looking at the different neighborhoods, housing developments and did not get swayed by what people said.

For us it was not about what the lender wanted us to spend, it was about us not being “house poor”, deserving to own a piece of the “American Dream” and enjoying it. So take the time to make the budget and be realistic. If you are in a rental situation and have not had to pay utilities, then you need to have a line item for the budget when you looking at home buying costs.

You can also contact the local utility company and ask them what is the average utility cost during the winter and summer months. This will give you an idea of what you can expect. To receive more information on home buying costs from A to Z on becoming a homeowner, I invite you to get your copy today of Bestseller Homebuyer’s Helper (How to Have and Hold on to your House) via


postheadericon First Family Barack and Michelle Obama in the Marriage Fishbowl

I was watching CNN a few days ago when they were discussing the NY Times Reporter’s interview with The First Family regarding their marriage and it is very evident they are in what I like to call “The Marriage Fishbowl”.

The Marriage Fishbowl is clearly where everyone is watching your every move that the husband and wife make. Did he do this? Did she do that? What was the response? How do they handle this or that? Being in the marriage fishbowl will cause your marriage to be critiqued by some, praised by others, some will remain silent in wonder, there are couples that will try to live up to your representation of marriage and much more.

With Barack and Michelle Obama, clearly based on the interview facts are facts:

1) He had not lived in the home full-time since 1996. So being in the position they are in now is a good thing. Togetherness.

2) Date night is important to them. Yet it was criticized because of how he did it a year ago.

3) Family is important to them and he makes time for his wife and daughters despite being The President.

4) It was shared that there was a very stressful time in their marriage.

Life Lessons to Accept:

1) We all have a role in our marriage. When the other spouse is not there full-time, we take care of business and do what needs to be done especially when there are children involved. You do not let things fall apart.

2) Marriage takes teamwork. Communication is very important. Not arguing but talking with cool heads.

3) Wives and husbands are to support each other in their individual and mutual goals. VISION is important and know where you are going.

4) Date night is important because it gives you time to enjoy your relationship and each other.

Money was not a topic but I want to interject. Discussing money is very important and would alleviate financial mistakes. Because that too is something that is watched when you are in “The Marriage Fishbowl”.

What do you think it takes to make a marriage work? Leave your comments.

We will discuss “The Marriage Fishbowl” again.

postheadericon NY Times says Money Talks Before Marriage

One of my favorite Money and Marriage Tips that I often post on Twitter is the biggest expense of marriage is …. DIVORCE. Well, well how about that the New York Times released an article on October 23, 2009 and in the very beginning it says, “But most couples don’t realize that divorce can also be among the most ruinous financial moves anyone can make.”

Money Talks To Have Before Marriage continued to share the affects of divorce affect far more people. Divorce is not just about the husband and the wife, it affects the children, relatives and friends of those spouses. It is very costly. The author of this article states, He has wanted to devote a series to divorce and money for a long time and decided to start with discussing finances which could save some marriages if people made it a priority”.

Money and Marriage should be a lifestyle of open communication about finances, establishing and achieving mutual financial goals as well as removing financial stress and strain from the relationship. When financial stress takes over the relationship, husbands and wives tend to forget about the loving and nurturing part of their relationship. Dreams are forgotten. Pointing the finger becomes the norm and shifting the blame. Blaming each other does not solve the financial challenges.

Brides-to-be, grooms, and even newlyweds take note. Sure you can spend thousands of dollars on your wedding, but what will you do to ensure that your marriage lasts for a lifetime?

postheadericon Summertime affair exposed leads to Job Loss

Over the last few days I have watched some news and saw this story about Steve Phillips that worked for ESPN and the young production assistant. It is pretty sad that this is becoming so common that almost every week or so, there is a story in the news regarding infidelity which can lead to job loss, divorce, not to even mention the impact on the children.

I have yet to figure out how people can be so short-sighted when it comes to choices that they make. Because of a choice he made to involve himself with this young woman, now he has lost his job, his wife has filed for divorce.. allegedly this young woman made harassing phone calls and even came to their home one time. Seems as if this all started when this young woman’s relationship ended with him.

When I saw it on the news, they were showing a clip of the movie, Fatal Attraction which they were comparing this to. That definitely came to my mind. The price of infidelity is HIGH and I don’t think most people can afford to pay it.

What are going to be the long term effects of this on his family? How can he explain this to his kids, I believe I heard there are children. It does not matter what age children are when infidelity is a part of the reason there is a separation or divorce, someone has to explain what is happening. Sure it is not the media’s or public’s business – what happens though is these people are in the media’s eye and it becomes “open season” for them and and unfortunately the lives of their families.

Couples don’t be so short-sighted that you do not think about the long-term consequences of every decision and action you take.